Local Business, Environmental, Labor Leaders Sign On to Support CLEAN LA Solar Program

March 2, 2011

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For Immediate Release March 2, 2011


Diverse consortium of stakeholders endorse letter to city officials backing the nation’s largest rooftop solar propo

LOS ANGELES (March 2, 2011) – In the broadest show of support to date, a wideranging coalition of area stakeholders is calling on city leaders to back an innovative solar energy program proposed for the region.

Officials from such varied organizations as the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, the American LungAssociation in California and the Sierra Club signed a letter endorsing the CLEAN LA proposal spearheaded by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC).

The CLEAN (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now) LA proposal would allow businesses and residents to install solar panels on their roofs and sell the power generated back to the local utility, creating the largest program of its kind in the United States. Known in policy circles as a feed‐in tariff, or FiT, the plan would create $500 million in local investment and create 900 high‐paying jobs each year for the next five years, all with a minimal impact on ratepayers.

“Los Angeles ratepayers deserve to profit from the power that solar energy produces,” said LABC President Mary Leslie. “That’s why this unprecedented group of community leaders and industry stakeholders agree that renters and owners must be able to generate solar power and sell it back to the grid in LA.”

The March 1 letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, members of the City Council, and leaders from the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power requests that the program be funded in the LADWP’s upcoming Integrated Resource Plan.

“Adopting this pioneering program will help Los Angeles distinguish ourselves as a true leader in the growing clean energy field,” said Bill Corcoran, Western Region Director for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. “Harnessing our abundant sunshine will help Los Angeles move away from dirty, dangerous and increasingly expensive coal‐fired power.”

During the past two years, LABC has worked with researchers from UCLA to design a model for an efficient and effective solar program. The LABC‐led CLEAN LA coalition is calling on the city to back a five‐year, 150‐megawatt FiT that would start in July, and take advantage of up to $300 million in federal tax credits to businesses and home owners to cover the costs of installing solar panels.

Mayor Villaraigosa first called for a solar FiT program in 2009, and has renewed his commitment on multiple occasions. The City Council is now reviewing the CLEAN LA solar proposal, and is working toward enactment in partnership with the LADWP.

“The city’s workforce can benefit tremendously from the high‐paying jobs the CLEAN LA Solar Program can create over the next five years,” said William G. Luddy, Legislative Director of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. “An investment in this program is an investment in the growth of a vigorous renewable energy industry that can energize the economic health of this entire region.”

LABC hopes to eventually expand the CLEAN LA plan to 600 megawatts, with the balance being achieved by 2020, to generate more renewable energy and be most cost‐effective over time.